Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Cancer Targets — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 1st May 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John Baron John Baron Conservative, Basildon and Billericay 2:30 pm, 1st May 2018

I completely agree. My worry about targets is that they focus on a very small, specific part of the journey when we should be talking about the journey as a whole. What I have not mentioned so far is that it was not just the one-year figures but the five-year figures that we were arguing for. We have to take a longer view of the journey in order to ensure that we take into account all aspects of it, including the support, the surround sound—the way of living—and so on. We have to ensure that those who survive receive enough supported, but my central point is that if we really are intent on encouraging earlier diagnosis, the process targets have been too blunt a weapon. We all love them. Politicians love them. Both sides love them, and the Opposition can hit the Government with them if they are missed. It is a short-term approach. In reality, they have not improved survival rates to the point where we are catching up with international averages, and that is the key problem.